Cichlids and Drums
Family: Cichlidae, Sciaenidae
Genus: 3 or more
Many cichlids (pronounced "Sick-i-lids") are prized aquarium and trade fish, but can make a decent catch on a fishing trip as well. They are usually brightly colored and possess unique patterns and scales. Drums include a wide range of fresh and saltwater species known for their distinct mating call.
Rio Grande Cichlid
Commonly found in a variety of habitats, but favor lakes with slight or strong currents. In some ecosystems this cichlid is completely herbivorous, but due to competition with centrarchidae it can expand to be more omnivorous in many cases. The Rio Grande cichlid is commonly utilized as an indicator of ecosystem health. They are known to heavily outcompete other native centrarchidae when conditions are not ideal.
Iridescent coloring is present on most of the body. Distinct black mark can be found at the base of the caudal fin. May have light vertical bars across the sides.
Originally introduced to the U.S. as a method of aquatic plant control, it has since become a pest that endangers many endemic species. Many organizations now warn against the further spread of this species. It has spread to many drainages across texas, and has reproducing populations in San Felipe springs. It is most prolific in areas of Texas as do not have extremely cold winter temperatures.
Juveniles host vertical bars across the sides. Adults have silvery heads and dark bands across the midsection, which darken when reaching maturity. There is often a hatched pattern visible between scales.
The drums name comes from the distinct drumming sounds this species makes when it attempts to attract a mate. It was traditionally referred to as a gaspergou, or simply a gou. The otolith (a bone in the inner ear) of this fish were seens as good luck and were often used as jewelry by the Native Americans. even today they are considered valuable in some regeions of the United States.
The drum hosts an Incredibly long dorsal fin that is notched but not separated, as well as a pointed caudal fin. It has a visibly curved lateral line that runs dorsally, and a Rounded snout,
Last updated: February 11, 2019